Powering a TV with a stationary bike?

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Old 06-30-14, 02:46 AM
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Powering a TV with a stationary bike?

I would like to find a way to make the use of the TV dependent upon the use of the stationary bike by either:

1) Making a certain number of miles mandatory before the TV will turn on for a certain amount of time (preferred!)

2) Powering the TV with the stationary bike

3) Making the bike be used for a certain amount of time before the TV will turn on for a certain amount of time (not preferred unless you can think of a way around the cheating potential)

I don't have an extensive budget, so try to keep that in mind when making suggestions.



A little backstory for context:
A family member of mine is very overweight... Does nothing but watch TV all day. This person can hardly walk anymore because of their weight combined with the fact that they just sit down all day doing nothing. They have a stationary bike in their house and I want to find a way to connect it to the TV in a way that makes the use of the TV dependent on the use of the bike.

Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 06-30-14, 03:35 AM
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Welcome to the forums! As with any weight loss program, it should be done with the blessings of the person's doctor. Just forcing the use of a stationary bike to watch TV could lead to cardiac problems. You will just be swapping one problem for another (fatal) one. A person's personal discipline is what is needed. They must want to lose the weight, first of all. Diet change and exercise are crucial, but at a rate the body can take.
 
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Old 06-30-14, 05:16 AM
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A 6-volt bicycle dynamo (generator) and a 6-volt relay to turn on the TV is the easiest, cheapest way to do it. You would have to make a box to contain the relay, input power, and a receptacle to plug in the TV

However, all your family member has to do is unplug the TV from the box and plug it into the wall.
 
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Old 06-30-14, 10:01 AM
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However, all your family member has to do is unplug the TV from the box and plug it into the wall.

a specialty plug that can only be used with the box?
 
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Old 06-30-14, 10:36 AM
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From all the industry and science museums exhibits I've visited I'd say you can't power a TV from a bike. You can make a light bulb glow however. It can be done by a cyclist but I think it would be too demoralizing for a person trying to get in shape.

You could use a bike with a generator to engage a relay. Getting more fancy you could get a simple programmable controller and then be able to vary things like how long you have to pedal and how long the TV stays on. I would cut the power cord to the TV and wire it directly to the controller to make it more difficult to circumvent.
 
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Old 06-30-14, 06:00 PM
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Getting more fancy you could get a simple programmable controller and then be able to vary things like how long you have to pedal and how long the TV stays on.
Could you tell me more about how this controller works/what it does? Does it only count the time you are actually pedaling?
 
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Old 06-30-14, 07:45 PM
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Could you tell me more about how this controller works/what it does? Does it only count the time you are actually pedaling?
This controller is not something you can buy in a store and bring home and push a few buttons to make work comparable to using a microwave oven or a VCR o5 DVR. Rather it is a college level electrical engineering project that requires that you solder wires together and/or write software.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 03:32 AM
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Hey again! I found a new method but since I don't know much about this kind of thing I was hoping someone could give me more detail about how it would work/how I could do it. The method is as follows:

Make the bike power a generator, the generator powers a timer, once the timer reaches a certain number of minutes it allows the TV to turn on.

Particularly how the timer would allow the TV to turn on at a certain point...

This controller is not something you can buy in a store and bring home and push a few buttons to make work comparable to using a microwave oven or a VCR o5 DVR. Rather it is a college level electrical engineering project that requires that you solder wires together and/or write software.
Aha. I guess the word "simple" was a little misleading then. Oh well!
 

Last edited by mmkka; 07-01-14 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:28 AM
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You could use something a bit simpler like an Arduino. It's a programmable controller aimed at DIY and education projects. It still would require learning but at least there are step-by-step instructions and timer projects are somewhat common. Still, it might feel like you're going back to school and have homework.

You could also use your generator powering a timer to turn on the TV. It's old school but it could be done with timer relays (two I'm thinking) though that too would require a bit of thinking and wiring. One timer has to be energized x time before it closes sending an output activating a second relay that will turn off after a set amount of time. It would require a power supply if doing it DC but there are 120VAC relays available if you want to forgo the power supply but you'd have to put more work into the enclosure for safety.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 12:17 PM
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Making a certain number of miles mandatory
This will most likely kill that person. No way can someone start an exercise program in miles! Sounds like you want to kill them.

This is dangerous territory you're asking about, so I'm closing this thread. You really need to take them to a doctor and have them start an exercise program and only if that person wants to. You can't force someone, unfortunately.

Good luck and if you need help with a reasonable and safe way to lose weight, please start a new thread and we can help with that.
 
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